Practitioners of the ancient Chinese art of acupuncture rely on the acupuncture points map to free trapped energy in the body and restore health.
You might have spotted this type of chart of the human body on the wall of your holistic doctor’s office or during a visit to a natural health store. It depicts numerous points on the body where the body’s energy, also known as qi, often accumulates. In fact, there are over 2,000 points that conduct energy throughout the body!
Because of their direct connection to the flow of energy in the body, the acupuncture pressure points depicted on the acupuncture points map help to regulate body function, mood, emotional and spiritual well-being. You might find it surprising that acupuncture has been used for over two millennia to help relieve headaches, skin conditions, digestive disorders, and asthma. And, that’s just the beginning. Acupuncture has been known to help with depression, phobias, addictions, low self-esteem, eating disorders, and other ailments caused by energy imbalances in the body.
The traditional acupuncture points chart shows fourteen main channels, also known as meridians, which exist in the body – one meridian for each of the twelve organs, one along the spine and another along the abdomen. Acupuncture pressure points are located along these meridians, and some points have more than one function. This means that an acupuncturist might use them to cure more than one type of illness.
For example, there is a commonly-used point on the acupuncture points chart, which is located on the back side of the hand between the thumb and first finger. Acupuncturists use it mainly to relieve pain and to treat constipation or other intestinal disorders. This point, however, is also used to treat illnesses which cause inflammation and fever. Because the large intestine meridian runs from the hand to the face, these symptoms often manifest in the throat and head.
Another point on the acupuncture points map is located at the base of the skull along the gallbladder meridian. This is a valuable point to know around cold and flu season, because it helps treat these annoying illnesses. It also helps relieve headaches, neck pain, and fever. Additionally, it may also lower blood pressure and relax tension in the region around the eyes. There are a multitude of points that may hold the key to better health for you.
How does an acupuncturist use these points on an acupuncture points map? He or she utilizes small needles and places them at the specific point on the patient’s body to help relieve illnesses caused by disrupted energy flow. By manipulating the flow of qi at these points, the two forms of energy in the body, yin and yang, are brought into proper alignment. It may require several visits to your acupuncturist to bring your body’s energy into harmony.
Encouraging the proper flow of life energy at specific acupuncture pressure points will help bring your body into physical and emotional harmony, in addition to proper diet, exercise, and healthy lifestyle choices. Visit a licensed acupuncturist who has studied the acupuncture points map in detail to ensure a beneficial session.
Alternative Medicine - What Happens During Acupuncture Treatment
Acupuncture is one of several popular alternative therapies tracing its roots to traditional medicine in China more than 5,000 years ago. Although the treatment is regarded as one of the most common and oldest worldwide, acupuncture only started to become recognized in the US after New York Times journalist James Reston wrote a feature on how his post-surgery pain was eased by doctors in China in 1971 using the procedure.
1. The Basis Of Acupuncture
The treatment assumes something called qi (pronounced key) - energy in living beings that passes through twelve meridians or invisible energy lines in the body. Each line links to a specific organ system; the belief is that any imbalance in qi flow leads to a disease. The key component of acupuncture treatment is the insertion of needles into key points on the meridian lines to renew balance. These extremely thin, metallic needles are aimed at specific anatomical points and controlled manually or by electrical stimulation. An individual usually feels relaxed and energized after acupuncture.
2. Modern Treatment
The US Food and Drug Administration reclassified these needles as medical devices in 1997, from the earlier classification as experimental. The FDA notes that over $500m are spent by people in the country every year for the treatment, for which a good number secure insurance coverage. The agency's main restrictions with the needles are that they be non-toxic and sterilized and that they be used only once and discarded immediately after.
- Acupuncture is endorsed by the National Institute of Health
- Is practiced by dentists, doctors and other health practitioners
3. Increasing Acceptance
Increasing acceptance of acupuncture was highlighted by the National Health Interview Survey in 2002, which indicated that the number of American adults turning to the treatment surged from 2.1 million in 2001 to about 8.2 million the following year. The interest in acupuncture also received a boost from the impatience individuals had with the failure of conventional medicine.
4. How Does It Really Work?
Acupuncture reportedly induces the release of endorphins in the body, relieving an indivudal from pain. Other effects attributed to the therapy include influence over neurotransmitters, or substances transporting nerve impulses; promotion of circulation; and effects over the body's electrical currents and autonomic nervous system. Many common ailments and undesirable conditions are addressed by acupuncture treatment.
5. Commonly Treated Conditions
- The common cold
- Smoking and other addictions
- Tennis elbow
- Menstrual cramps
- Low-back pain
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
On the first meeting, acupuncturists usually ask new clients to fill up a personal health record prior to an interview. A session then has the client answer questions that cover main health issues, diet, emotional and psychological profile, and overall lifestyle and regular activities. The therapist should also be informed by the individual of any current medication and treatment being taken. During this interview, one can also expect the practitioner to evaluate pulse points and establish how healthy the individual's twelve meridians are. A diagnosis is then given, followed by the use of between 6 and 12 needles as treatment is commenced. Patients keen on acupuncture must realize that the exact placement on target points on the meridians is more important, not the number of needles used.
The initial insertion may make the patient feel pricked or stung. However, the treatment should be painless and comfortable for the duration that could extend to an hour or more. An individual should immediately tell the acupuncturist to discontinue if he feels any numbness, discomfort or pain. Variations of the treatment may involve use of herbal medicine - capsules, tablets or tea made from Chinese herbs to boost the therapy. Some practitioners also integrate cupping - a suction effect created with the use of glass cups on the skin, in part to promote blood circulation and continuous qi flow.
7. Rising Popularity
The recent withdrawal of the Vioxx painkiller has raised apprehension over pain relievers available in the market. This concern, combined with statements from the NIH and other government and health organizations that side effects from acupuncture are significantly lower, has made more individuals turn to the treatment, particularly for pain relief. Several studies have also shown how acupuncture has helped patients with osteoarthritis, post-chemotherapy nausea and even depression. Despite all the apparent positive feedback, those considering acupuncture should still consult regular doctors and health-care professionals for advice on their conditions first. If they decide to pursue the treatment, they must make sure that the acupuncturist or practitioner they see is highly-qualified and certified by organizations such as the American Academy of Medical Acupuncturists.